When it comes to moving across country, or across state borders, when hiring an interstate mover, you should know your rights when it comes to paying for your move. A situation came up in May 2010, when a family’s possessions were destroyed by a fire during transit. All the family was left with was a sofa, table, and a couple beds. The family had put a down payment on their move of $2365, but unfortunately the truck never made it out of the state because it was completely destroyed. The moving company did put an insurance claim in, but since the shipper opted for the minimum coverage of valuation, the legal obligation of the mover was minimal. This would have been a different story had the shipper opted to take out additional valuation on their interstate move. To read more on the tragedy that happened to this family, check out this article Cross Country Moving Catastrophe.
The point of this article is to illustrate how on an interstate shipment, the moving company is forbidden from collecting shipping charges if the shipment is a total loss during transit, according to the FMCSA regulation 375.709. There are 2 exception that apply:
The customer is responsible to pay for any valuation charges taken out.
This regulation is VOID, if the loss was due to the shipper's negligence.
With that being said, the moving company in the above article is required to refund the shippers deposit. The 2nd point of this article is to know your insurance rights (and make sure you understand all options, and consequences, if you choose not to take out additional coverage). Check with your homeowners insurance (which may sometimes cover your move), and make sure you ask all of these questions before hiring a mover. If the shipper in the above article would have taken out additional valuation (coverage) on her move (which would have cost them only an additional $300), she would have been paid $35,000, which is much better than ending up with a few pieces of furniture and a suitcase.